Thanksgiving Becomes You

Lincoln Thanksgiving

Lest history is revised as a means for present deceptions and determinations and before another angry atheist/liberal professor/fiction writer decides revisionist history is the best way to fool “We the People”, let us read the following proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln.

 A note of context: Eyewitness accounts of the Surrender at Appomattox tell us the events of the Lee-Grant surrender meeting took place at the McLean house on April 9, 1865. Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation, announced about a year and a half before that day, was made to declare a national and unifying day of Thanksgiving. (Each state had celebrated Thanksgiving on a different day.).

 The declaration also appears to be written to remind the people of this great nation that “Almighty God” had given the nation a great many blessings of which gratitude and not discontent and strife was in order. (emphasis mine)

 

 

 

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

 

By the President of the United States of America.

 

A Proclamation.

 

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence (sic), have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness (sic) of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility (sic) and Union.

 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

 

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

 

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

 

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

 

 

President Lincoln, a Deist, never forgot that a higher and providential power, a sovereign, theistic objective morality existed enthroned above-“Almighty God.” Lincoln acknowledged the right of God to deal with mankind on His terms.

 Now, fast forward.

 Counselors, psychologists, social workers ad infinitum-the whole earthly host of remedial pacifying gurus-have diagnosed and they have declared of mankind “I’m OK, You’re OK.” Guilt, shame and a conscience are not worthy of YOU. Instead, coming out PRIDE is what you are meant for. Ergo, anyone outside the perimeter of YOUR being must be denied as existing or, at the most, nondeserving of any attention, except as it emulates YOU (e.g., the homocentricity of homosexuality). Social justice must be a reflection of YOU-love yourself (and Mother Earth) as your neighbor should love you. Facebook and Tweet your goodness (and grandiosity) for the entire world to see.

 Thanksgiving, counting your blessings and God Himself, whether as Lincoln’s distant Deist or as the Infinite/Personal God I know are now considered ‘things’ of the past.

We are told that “We must “Lean Forward and be Progressive! History got it wrong. We are smarter than that! Thanksgiving had nothing to do with God. It was a time of community, of socialism, of communism, Comrade!”

   As we approach Thanksgiving Day-my favorite national holiday along with the Fourth of July-I am constantly reminded of the extreme blessings that have been poured into my life. Both hands cannot begin to hold the cornucopia of goodness from my Lord in the land of the living.

 Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

 

Daily I am confronted by the unrest and discontent of almost everyone I meet. These people are union workers, my non-union coworkers (yes, they have a well-paying job with benefits and they complain anyway) and the abundantly blessed who are betwixt the commercialism they so publicly lambaste and so privately desire (e.g., the Occupy Wall St. tribe; see video below).

 Not many people, if you listen to the Kulture Kommentators of any media type, are grateful to be American. Instead we learn that our nation has become an ungrateful, needy, whiney people of constant griping: “meet my demands or I-will-riot-and-loot”. ”I will shut you out of my America.” “Pay homage to me and my cause or I will call you a racist, a homophobe, a rapist, a “bitter clinger”, greedy and un-American.” “I hate America therefore I am intellectually smarter than your honor roll student.” “COEXIST-at your own risk around me.”

 Our current leaders are unworthy focal points for any national horizon where thanksgiving may arise. Unlike Abraham Lincoln our leaders induce and enable ingratitude. Their own compromised and disfigured lives coupled with their “everything is political” reductionism generate universal discontent-a “bah-humbug” unrest with the current state of things. As logocentrists in their own minds, they provoke ingratitude in order to present themselves as “pursuit of happiness” purveyors, saviors of the rights of being self-supreme but always, always, as advertised recipients of their largesse as they administer the providence of almighty government.

 One last comment: Do atheists give thanks? Who do they thank? And why? For them, aren’t Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday a break from work to enjoy crass materialism, endless football and feasting? A day of hedonism? A Thus Spoke Zarathustra Day?

Is life to be understood now as one big riverboat casino with you as the captain of your own fate, the Proud Mary rollin’ down the river?

 For the atheist isn’t everything that happens and everything handed to them, whether as relative good or bad, just collectivized random events, Logical Atoms, knowledge based on sensory experience, existential relativity derivative of Darwinian evolutionary materialism? And, Thanksgiving Day, isn’t it just a form of epicurean escapism from the drudgery of a riverboat life? Perhaps atheists thank government for socialized medicine, another outcropping of materialistic atheism. Thanksgiving requires a leap of humility and that is a crevice too wide and distant from one’s self, one’s will to jump over.

 Life for me without giving thanks is a life lived avoiding God.

 I have learned that a grateful heart changes your countenance and your outlook…from facing inward to facing outward and upward. Thanksgiving becomes you.

 From the Book of Common Prayer said before The Great Thanksgiving:

 

“It is right and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.”

 

More sensory experience:

 Abraham Lincoln and the “Mother of Thanksgiving

2 Responses to Thanksgiving Becomes You

  1. MikeG says:

    I agree… we should not revise history, even though religions are the worst offenders of this practice. The event we honor on the last Thursday in November is not actually the holiday that the Pilgrims knew as “Thanksgiving”. Over time, it has been intertwined with the fall harvest celebration they held. I wrote the article below to answer those who asked “who” I thanked or “what” I had to be thankful for. You seem to be angry that others are taking away your religious holiday, when in fact, the original event was a simple harvest celebration. You are free to believe what you want and worship as you please, but do not think that this is YOUR personal religious holiday and atheists have no part celebrating it.

    ===

    An atheist’s view of Thanksgiving

    In virtually every aspect of life, there can be both secular and non-secular aspects of the same event. For instance, eating and bathing may be regarded as examples of secular activities, because there may be nothing inherently religious about them. Nevertheless, both eating and bathing are regarded as sacraments in some religious traditions, and therefore could be religious activities in certain contexts. The national holiday known as Thanksgiving is no different, in that it holds both secular and non-secular meanings, depending on your point of view.

    The national Thanksgiving holiday that we celebrate traces its’ roots to a 1621 celebration at the Plymouth Plantation, where the Plymouth settlers held a fall harvest feast. The tradition of the harvest celebration exists in many cultures all over the world and anthropologists have traced this human activity back over 10,000 years. Early agricultural societies were communal by nature. A tribe, clan or village worked together to hunt and raise animals for food, and to plant and harvest crops. They also worked together to preserve and store communal supplies before hard winter or hard summer months where food might be limited or scarce. It was a common custom among agricultural communities to have a feast where everyone shared in the bounty that exceeded their capacity to preserve and/or store these items.

    Very little is actually known about the Plymouth Plantation’s harvest celebration of 1621 because only two accounts of the feast were ever written. The first account is William Bradford’s journal titled “Of Plymouth Plantation” and the other is a publication written by Edward Winslow titled “Mourt’s Relations”. What is known is that the Pilgrims held a 3 day long fall harvest feast in 1621 somewhere between late September and early November to celebrate a successful fall harvest. The 53 Pilgrims at the harvest feast were the only colonists to survive the long journey across the Atlantic on the Mayflower and the first winter on this continent. Disease and starvation struck down half of the original 102 colonists. The Pilgrims struggled through that first winter and, with the help of the local Wampanoag tribe, they had a hearty supply of food to sustain them through the coming winter.

    Many people believe “Thanksgiving” became a reoccurring celebration for the Pilgrims. Whether this is true or not is unclear as there are no other accounts of the Plymouth Plantation holding any more harvest celebrations after 1621. It is possible that annual fall harvest feasts occurred, but if they did they were not documented. The feast celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621 was never actually called “Thanksgiving” by the colonists. It was simply a fall harvest celebration. A few years later, in July of 1623, the Pilgrims did hold what they called a “Thanksgiving.” This was a religious day of prayer and fasting that had nothing to do with the fall harvest. Over the years, the names of the two events became intertwined and by the late 1600’s many individual colonies and settlements, began holding “Thanksgiving feasts” during the autumn months.

    The Continental Congress declared the first national Thanksgiving on December 18, 1777 and then in 1789, George Washington declared the last Thursday in November a national Thanksgiving as well. These were merely declarations and not official holidays. Future presidents did not continue the Thanksgiving declaration. Thanksgiving didn’t become a national holiday until Sarah Josepha Hale (editor of a women’s magazine called Godey’s Lady’s Book) began writing letters to each sitting president starting in 1846. She wrote letters to five presidents: Zachary Taylor, Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln asking them to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. Abraham Lincoln was the only president to listen and supported legislation making it a national holiday in 1863. Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. America was in the middle of the Civil War and Lincoln hoped the new holiday would help unify the bitterly divided country.

    So while President Lincoln made his proclamation overtly Judeo-Christian in its tone, it is most likely that the 53 Pilgrims at the original celebration would not have made their 3 day long harvest feast as overtly religious with 92 Wampanoag in attendance (outnumbering the Pilgrims 2 to 1). Being that the Pilgrims were a religious sect, certainly they would have said prayers to their deity at this feast. It is also realistic to think that the Wampanoag tribe at this feast also prayed and gave thanks to their deities. But the Pilgrims must have also thanked their Wampanoag neighbors for their assistance during the first year of the colony.

    So, as an Atheist and an American, I choose to celebrate the national holiday of Thanksgiving as a secular anniversary celebration for one of the original groups of European settlers to come to North America to be a part of the foundation of our nation. I thank them and the many other groups of indignant people and immigrants who braved the hardships of an unsettled and wild continent. If you are religious, feel free to pray to whatever deity you pray to, just like the Pilgrims prayed to theirs. But on this day, I choose to give thanks to those that were brave, resourceful and peaceful toward their neighbors for helping to create the free country in which I live.

    • Rising Window says:

      Thanks for commenting.

      First of all do not project onto me. Where do you find anger in my words? Is this a sensitive subject for you?

      Secondly, I never stated any fear that someone was taking MY “personal religious holiday and atheists have no part celebrating it.” So, don’t put words in my mouth.

      I simply asked the question. And, you have answered it from your perspective.

      Thanksgiving Day is not a religious holiday in my Christian thinking or in my practice. I’m not sure where you got that from. Whether I go to church or stay at home I thank God, my Creator. In fact, I give thanks to God every day of my life. Thanksgiving Day can be a day to give thanks in community or not.

      It really doesn’t matter if the pilgrims, Indians, Vikings or the Green Bay Packers started Thanksgiving. I am recognizing the historical fact that Abe Lincoln gave thanks and that we as a people can give thanks because there are manifold reasons for thanksgiving and a Creator of reason to give thanks to–as Lincoln acknowledged.

      Regarding the revision of history you made the statement “we should not revise history, even though religions are the worst offenders of this practice.” Who are you referring to here?

      As a Christian I am most familiar with Christian history.

      I am aware of early writers who, after the first century AD, wrote Pseudepigraphal and Apocryphal ‘accounts.’ These accounts revised eye witness accounts into what the revisionists wanted them to be thought as – basically a secular Jesus Christ Superstar take on the events These writers moved away from the deity of Jesus’, the physical resurrection, and elements of the Gospel message. These revisionist ‘accounts’ also gave Jesus a wife in keeping with their humanist MO.

      There are current revisionists of Christian historical fact (e.g., Elaine Pagels, John D. Crossan, etc.) who seek to water down the truth of what took place in the first century AD history. In doing so they make Jesus into a secular/semi-mythical Ghandi-esque figure, egalitarian with who they think are ‘good guys’ but less than very God.

      I also know that atheism is a post-Christian phenomenon. Atheism didn’t exist before the coming of Jesus Christ. Atheism became an anti-Christ religion.

      Revisionism, on the other hand, is an atheist’s doctrinal requirement. Atheists must deny the incarnation of God in Jesus, the deity of Jesus and his bodily resurrection. Beyond that, atheism makes for ‘good’ mind-control dictatorships.

      I’ll cite a few atheists who have revised and ‘silenced’ history to favor their secular/political/anti-Christ religious bent. These would include a murderous group of dictators: Joseph Stalin who killed 43,000,000, Mao Zedong killing 38,000,000, Adolf Hitler who killed 21,000,000, Chiang Kai-shek who killed 10,000,000, Vladimir Lenin who killed 4,000,000 and Pol Pot who killed 3,000,000 people.

      A contemporary atheist/communist and reviser of history was Howard Zinn. He wrote a myopic and deeply biased “People’s History” for the Progressive party’s use and to win favor at the cocktail parties that he attended in MA. Unlike Lincoln, Zinn thanked himself…for the book sales.

      More important than a National Day of Thanksgiving – historically proclaimed by one Abraham Lincoln as shown above – is the fact that being thankful is a human virtue that is derived from God and from God alone.

      Darwinian materialism does not generate human virtue or free will or reason no matter how many genetic mutations, adaptations and iterations there may be in one’s DNA.

      Regarding atheism, “angry atheists” and reason I recommend the following:

      https://sallyparadise.com/2011/08/20/atheism-in-retreat/

      https://sallyparadise.com/2010/12/09/alvin-plantinga-atheisms-arguments/

      https://sallyparadise.com/2012/02/05/wrestling-with-god/

      http://www.andrewmbailey.com/ap/

      http://www.calvin.edu/academic/philosophy/virtual_library/plantinga_alvin.htm

      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/





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